Cooch's Bridge

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This is the historic site of the first battle of the American Revolution at which the Stars and Stripes was flown. Legend has it that a British soldier whose head was shot off in the battle still appears here on foggy, moonless nights as a headless apparition.

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Geographic Information

Near Chapel St and Old Baltimore Pike
Newark, DE
United States

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39.639722, -75.72666700000002
New Castle County, Delaware
Nearest Towns:
Brookside, DE (1.9 mi.)
Glasgow, DE (2.6 mi.)
Newark, DE (3.3 mi.)
Bear, DE (3.7 mi.)
Elkton, MD (6.1 mi.)
Pike Creek, DE (6.4 mi.)
Pike Creek Valley, DE (6.8 mi.)
Newport, DE (8.1 mi.)
Wilmington Manor, DE (8.2 mi.)
North Star, DE (8.4 mi.)

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Please note: It is your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before investigating any location listed on this site. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations. Many "ghost hunters" have been arrested because they failed to contact property owners and/or local authorities ahead of time.

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  1. Approximately 4 years ago a few of us had been out doing some paranormal investigations. It was late at night about 10 PM, it had rained earlier and I was near Cooches Bridge. I had heard about the soldier at Cooches Bridge location. As we were driving westbound on Old Baltimore Pike and just coming up to the Cooche’s bridge, one of the people in the car was trying to take pictures with a digital camera of the area while I slowed down. While I was driving slowly and then turning on the side road near the bridge the camera would not work. It worked perfect all night until now. I continued driving and all of a sudden I felt something felt wrong with my vehicle. I got to the first street on my right side and turned into it and u turned and parrked. Before I even got out I now lost my air conditioning, and inside lights. I didn’t know what was going on. When I got out I found I had a flat tire. Needless to say my son came and changed the tire. On my way back home after passing Cooche’s Bridge area I all of a sudden got my air conditioning to come on and the inside lights now were working. The next day my dad took the tire to be repaired and when he went back to pick it up he was told “there was nothing wrong with the tire”. I can only tell you this is the absolute truth and I will not drive anyone of my vehicles over Cooche’s Bridge while trying to take pictures. I am a paranormal investigator and a sensitive and I am sure this phenomena occurred because no pictures were to be taken! I will not attempt to take pictures there out of respect to the deceased and family.

  2. The battle was really a skirmish at the start of the disasterous 1777 season. washington had expected the British to either march accross New Jersey or sail up the delaware to get at the colonial capital. instead they landed in Maryland and marched over land, along a line that not only were there few defenses on but which cut off the southern states from the army.

    This is where the british scouts first ran into the probes Washington sent south. It was a very minor exchange as the colonials fell back, they were scouts, not looking ofr a general engagment.The battle had a total of maybe 40 casualties- dead and wounded ,that’s both sides.

    • Keith Jackson VP Pencader Heritage Area Association  |  

      Sadly, the truth of this battle was lost in time and for far too many generations. There are numerous reasons for the misinformation regarding the logistics of the battle: there are no known first person Colonial accounts of the battle from the time of the battle -1777, America was still mostly frontier and most colonist could not read or write. The military reports were sent by Gen. Maxwell to his stored in the barn at his farm which later burned down completely. Thanks mostly to the internet, we now have transcribed contemporary journals from the British and Hessian soldiers. This “skirmish where barely a shot was fired” (is what I was told by my history teacher at Glasgow High School -unwittingly built on the battlefield), actually lasted nearly 7 hours and covered nearly 6 square miles. The Colonial forces were not intent on winning the battle but harassing and slowing the invading forces down as they marched towards Philadelphia. The Colonial forces very much succeeded in that regard and only retreated when they ran out of ammunition. It is not known exactly how many lives were lost but we now know there were 24 graves dug by the British for the fallen Colonials. There is no indication there was only 1 body for each grave or that they made much effort in retrieving all the bodies over the expanse of the battlefield that was also very densely wooded and in very poor weather conditions. It is surmised by accounts on both sides that the loss of life was likely 40-50 on both sides… not large numbers for a battle of such scale and intimacy (guerrilla warfare tactics in dense woods with no more than 20 yards of clear line of sight in any direction once inside the wood line). But it was truly a battle and not a mere skirmish. Archaeological digs of the battlefield have rendered more battlefield artifacts from this battle than at the Battle of the Brandywine -the next engagement one week later and the single largest battle of the entire Revolutionary War. When the Glasgow Park was being built (less than 15 years ago), they were removing more than a few 5-gal buckets full of musket balls. The legend of the Ghost of Cooch’s Bridge is documented earlier than most local legends with an article in the Newark Post in 1910. At that time, no one living knew when the legend was born. In short, a British scout was dressed as a specter on a light colored horse and was investigating and testing the defensive lines of the Colonials. The scout wore steel plating over his chest and back. Shots had been fired and hit their target but the specter rode on, unchallenged. After a few encounters with the specter, a corporal aimed higher and struck the scout in the head, felling him and the ruse was discovered… later, in a spectacular example of irony, the scout who had posed as a specter became the specter he had so well impersonated and so the Ghost of Cooch’s Bridge came about and on moonlit foggy nights, he can be seen approaching the bridge, testing your nerves where the Colonial lines of defense once braced. To learn more please visit the Pencader Heritage Museum, located next to the Battlefield at 2029 Sunset Lake Rd. Newark, DE, open every 1st & 3rd Sat. from 10-4. You won’t be disappointed.

  3. Cooches bridge ghost  |  

    I live on cooches bridge road. Ive been here for 30 years and never heard and seen a t ghost thing. I know mr.cooches. and the family on the farm peoperty. Nothing. And i see noone around but deer and in the field. A million cars pass by daily cause its a very populated suburb, nothing.

  4. The ghost is not at Coochs Bridge but by Welsh Tract Church.
    He’s not British. He’s a local son of a farmer who owned a mill.

    Many runaway slaves, Revolutionary and Civil War boys are around.
    Lived near Iron Hill /Welsh Tract Rd for decades… They’re here.. Even have a ghost dog and cat…
    Too much to tell here

  5. Jessica M Schlothauer  |  

    That was that’s what happened during the night of August 2nd me and my husband went on our own little paranormal investigation cooch’s bridge battlefield was our last destination of the night we pulled up to The monuments and the historical signs of the battlefield when my husband turned off the car got out and started taking some photos mean time I sat in the car ready when he came back to the car which was about maybe 5 to 10 minutes later he went to start the car, the car wouldn’t start! We just had a new alternator and a new battery put in the car just a week prior. We went to about four other places before this and turn the car off at each t location for longer periods of time each time it started no problem until we ended up a cooch’s bridge battlefield… Needless to say were going home

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.